Jump to content


Shooting cold cloudy water

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 DivingDan358


    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:58 AM



I live in Seattle and dive Puget Sound mostly, but have issues with particulates in the water clouding my image. 

I shoot an Olympus pen lite EPL3 with ys01 strobe and kit lens.


Any suggestions would be helpful.



#2 saga7


    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 114 posts

Posted 01 December 2018 - 03:07 PM

Hi. Aim your strobes outward so the light just is slightly in front of the subject. Backscater behind subject is less distacting. Twin stobes work slightly better than single strobe but all of my shots you see in the west coast gallery are single sttrobe. Close focus wide angle was my favourite type of photography on the west coast of canada. Get as close as possible so less water to shoot through. If it is really bad visibilty macro is your only choice. To see sample of my work which was shot on a nikonos film camera as i quite diving the west coast 15 years ago. https://reefscenics.smugmug.com

#3 ChrisRoss


    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 429 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney Australia

Posted 01 December 2018 - 04:51 PM

The short answer is get closer, the closer you are the less particles to shoot through. The strobe positioning helps but will still show up particles that are close in to your subject. With macro you should be able to get to the point where cloning out the particles that are still there is possible. Consider a 30mm macro rather than a 60mm as it forces you to get closer.

#4 ComeFromAway


    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 85 posts

Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:39 PM

Same problem here in Atlantic Canada. I've tried darn near every strobe position you can think of and the only thing that removes backscatter to the degree I'm looking for is to get super close... or going to the Caribbean. haha :)


A few other things help: 1) Turning down the strobe power, but obviously this either requires you to crank up the exposure in post more than you might otherwise or forces you to get closer. 2) Dome diffusers. 3) Zooming in a touch (if you have hotspots on the edge of your frame, which seems to get worse the murkier the water). But really, the only thing that truly makes a significant difference is getting close.